Essay Question 7: ‘Good girl research’ (Unit 4) What studies of gender and language with which you are familiar might Mary Bucholtz characterise as ‘good girl research’? What is this ‘good girl’ like – can you add to or amend Bucholtz’s profile? Do you agree with Bucholtz about the special contribution of ‘bad girl’ research? Essay Question 8: Queer Theory (Unit 4) Do you feel that Queer Theory represents a valid way forward for gender and language study? In what ways can Queer Theory contribute to the study of gender and language more broadly? More generally, do you feel that ‘sexuality’ should become an integral part of the gender and language field (and that academic courses should have such titles as ‘Language, gender and sexuality’?) On-line resources which might help you to prepare for this essay are the various ‘Lavender Linguistics Conferences’ websites, with their diverse links. e.g. http://www.american.edu/cas/anthro/lavenderlanguages/links.cfm Essay Question 9: Cross-disciplinary Notions of Identity (Unit 4) Explore the notion of ‘identity’ within various disciplines – linguistics, women’s studies, politics, psychology, sociology, philosophy, education. What are some different definitions of identity? How do understandings of identity vary with academic discipline? (How) do the different each understandings see the role of language? Essay Question 10: Abstraction, theorisation and generalisation (Unit 6) Consider the meanings of ‘abstraction’, ‘theorisation’ and ‘generalisation’. In Eckert and McConnell-Ginet’s 1992 paper on Communities of Practice, what, is being inappropriately abstracted from what? (You will need to read the whole paper, not just the extract provided here.) Can you give examples from the gender and language literature of some or all of these inappropriate abstractions? Re-read the last sentence of the section ‘Too much abstraction spoils the broth’. In your experience, what ‘partner’ tends to be ‘prematurely dissolved’ by abstraction more – gender, or language?
Essay Question 11 (Unit 6) Eckert and McConnnell-Ginet (1992) write: “In becoming police officers or psychiatrists or physicists or professors of linguistics, we may change our ways of being women and perhaps of being wives or lovers or mothers”. Discuss how and why this might happen, with specific relation to language and the notion of the ‘Community of Practice’ (CofP). Essay Question 12: Discourses (Unit 7) What are discourses? What do discourses do? These are not the same thing! In your answer, provide examples of gendered discourses throughout. These should include those provisionally identified and named by others, and those provisionally identified and named by yourself.